Phil Townsend

Phil Townsend

Primarily I design and make outdoor sculpture, mostly in native hardwoods and a wide variety of stone – materials that sit easily with both the natural environment and the man-made.

The majority of my work is specific to place and created for a particular set of surroundings. The site is a catalyst, becoming part of the creative process in both a physical sense and because of its historical associations and contemporary connections. The resulting artwork aims to explore the cultural, emotional and psychological relationships the viewer may have with a particular place and its meanings, and provoke a variety of reaction from humour to thoughtful contemplation.

Much of what I do could be called social sculpture in that there is, more often than not, some level of community involvement, with all the research, consultation and collaborative decisions that can entail. Some pieces however lean more closely to environmental art, made to urge the viewer to reflect on, and hopefully engage with, the natural world.

A fundamental factor in my artwork is that I am directly involved all the creative aspects of it! On large scale sculpture I have to contract in help for lifting and labouring, and occasionally for initial removal of material, but in the main I have a very ‘hands-on’ relationship with the work, from design and construction through to the carving and surface finish of a piece. This allows for levels of texture & detail, and ‘organic’ thought and decision-making, which are not possible in the one-hit wonders of factory-manufactured, designer art, that are increasingly found in our public places. 

Sculpted Art

Phil Townsend sculpture Sculpted Art